Introduction to Net-tools

The Net-tools package is a collection of programs for controlling the network subsystem of the Linux kernel.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.4 platform.

Package Information

User Notes:

Installation of Net-tools



The Net-tools package installs a hostname program which will overwrite the existing program installed by Inetutils during a base LFS installation. If, for whatever reason, you need to reinstall the Inetutils package after installing Net-tools, you should add --disable-hostname to the Inetutils configure command in LFS if you wish to preserve the Net-tools hostname program.

The instructions below automate the configuration process by piping yes to the make config command. If you wish to run the interactive configuration process (by changing the instruction to just make config), but you are not sure how to answer all the questions, then just accept the defaults. This will be just fine in the majority of cases. What you're asked here is a bunch of questions about which network protocols you've enabled in your kernel. The default answers will enable the tools from this package to work with the most common protocols: TCP, PPP, and several others. You still need to actually enable these protocols in the kernel—what you do here is merely tell the package to include support for those protocols in its programs, but it's up to the kernel to make the protocols available.



This package has several unneeded protocols and hardware device specific functions that are obsolete. To only build the minimum needed for your system, skip the yes command and answer each question interactively. The minimum needed options are 'UNIX protocol family' and 'INET (TCP/IP) protocol family'.

Install Net-tools by running the following commands:

sed -i -e '/Token/s/y$/n/' &&
sed -i -e '/HAVE_HWSTRIP/s/y$/n/' &&
yes "" | make config                 &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make update

Command Explanations

sed -i -e '/Token/s/y$/n/' Change the default for building obsolete token ring support to no. This is a simpler change than changing the location for the token ring headers.

sed -i -e '/HAVE_HWSTRIP/s/y$/n/' Removes obsolete Metricom radio support that requires a header no longer included in the kernel.

yes "" | make config: Piping yes to make config skips the interactive configuration and accepts the defaults.


Installed Programs: arp, dnsdomainname, domainname, hostname, ifconfig, ipmaddr, iptunnel, mii-tool, nameif, netstat, nisdomainname, plipconfig, rarp, route, slattach, and ypdomainname
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: None

Short Descriptions


is used to manipulate the kernel's ARP cache, usually to add or delete an entry, or to dump the entire cache.


reports the system's DNS domain name.


reports or sets the system's NIS/YP domain name.


reports or sets the name of the current host system.


is the main utility for configuring network interfaces.


adds, deletes and shows an interface's multicast addresses.


adds, changes, deletes and shows an interface's tunnels.


checks or sets the status of a network interface's Media Independent Interface (MII) unit.


names network interfaces based on MAC addresses.


is used to report network connections, routing tables, and interface statistics.


does the same as domainname.


is used to fine tune the PLIP device parameters, to improve its performance.


is used to manipulate the kernel's RARP table.


is used to manipulate the IP routing table.


attaches a network interface to a serial line. This allows you to use normal terminal lines for point-to-point links to other computers.


does the same as domainname.

Last updated on 2013-09-05 10:04:34 -0700